Looking Back on the Aug 11th Chapter Meeting
(Thanks to Alan Wile for taking notes for YeEd who is on vacation in the Adirondacks.)
By 6:00 p.m. the risers were beginning to be put up. There was no choreo refresher tonight, as Chuck McKeever was away. Eventually, Dick and Carolyn Hall were selling 50-50 tickets, Bruce Lauther was accepting/returning medals and had five large cards for Harmonizer shut-ins, Dixie Kennett was taking attendance, Tony Colosimo was holding “one-on-ones” for the first group of men in the “Certified Singer” program (with admin assistance from Dean Rust), Mike Kelly was setting up the sound equipment, Rich Hewitt was busily welcoming guests, Carl Kauffmann was attending to treasurer “stuff,” Terry Reynolds, Joe Cerutti, Steve White, Carlos Barillo, and (perhaps) others were conferring on the plans for tonight’s rehearsal and beyond, etc.
Reed Livergood conducted the warm-up session and then turned the evening over to Joe. He began with a session on the “Sky” tag and then turned to rehearsing sections/all of “Lullaby,” “America,” “Happy,” “Thriller”, and “Sweet Caroline” --- which will be the five songs we’ll perform at the Dog Days multi-chapter event in a couple of weeks. Marvin Evans was the first audition to sing the solo part in “Happy;” others will have an opportunity to do so in upcoming weeks.
Sectionals were the next order of business.
When all back together, director Joe Cerutti explained again about the “Certified Singer” program – that a pilot group of about 25 men, selected by part and experience levels to complete prior to the district contest and that all will have gone through it by the time we head to Nashville for the international convention/contest. He emphasized that this is NOT designed to weed out anyone NOR is it a program to identify elite singers - it’s an approach to make each member a better singer and contributor to the whole of the chorus. It is designed to ensure comprehension of five specific areas explained and demonstrated by Tony at last week’s chapter meeting and for individuals to understand whether they are “doing it” or not. After district, “lessons learned” will be collected in order to continue and improve the program.
Operations vp Todd Ryktarsyk conducted the business meeting. Chapter coordinator for this fall’s contest weekend, Shawn Tallant, reminded all to get their room reservations at the Harmo-Hotel in Ocean City for the district contest – only four weeks left. Also, he stressed the need for all competitors to have registrations. And he needs volunteers to make it a great weekend.
Bruce Lauther asked members to sign the cards for our shut-ins and noted that 61 medals have been engraved ... and he’s looking for more, if desired.
Tom Kern was “introduced” as the guy for uniforms, should anyone need any of the various parts.
Chapter secretary Chris Buechler noted that 22 men still need to renew their membership before the district contest and handed out cards to four members who recently renewed: Spence Wight (2 years), Todd Ryktarsyk (10), Alan Wile (34), and Carl Kauffman (43).
Terry Reynolds announced (1) that we’ll need both black suits and the tails for our American Icon show in September; (2) that Ross Johnson is home from the hospital but pretty much confined to a wheel chair for the next few weeks with a broken leg; (3) that there is an all-parts sectional at the First Baptist Church on Saturday; and (4) that those who contribute $100 or more to the CD project by midnight, August 12, will be listed in the liner notes of the CD for sale at the American Icon show (which will include songs sung on the show).
Membership vp Rich Hewitt (1) welcomed Matt Doniger as our most recent bass member; (2) reminded that “open auditions” are scheduled for September 23rd; (3) displayed brand new chapter business cards which debuted at the Market Square show, Friday, August 7th; (4) noted that there were sign-up sheets for the two Icon shows (some may have indicated they would attend one but forgot about the other ... for the two shows on September 19th); (5) announced that the membership goals for the second half of the year would be coming soon; and (6) introduced six guests and six applicants with us tonight!!!
After singing to the guests, led by assistant director emeritus Will Cox, we took a break for coffee and goodies prepared by Walt Page (in the absence of Jack Pitzer).
Back at it, Joe worked a bit on the “What a day” tag. He explained that at Harmony University it was made clear that the BHS presentation category is moving away from what has become “traditional” choreographed moves for larger/better barbershop choruses and is now concentrating more on artistry believable emotion. Carlos asked that we give 50% less in our body moves and, instead, sing not to the audience but to someone “standing directly in front of you.” He asked that we do away with “wide eyes/raised eyebrows" and frown lines --- and specifically asked that we work at home in front of a mirror when singing the ballad. Similarly, the up-tune should be light and carefree; have fun with the song; treat it “tongue in cheek.”
Finally, Ina Berkey won the 50-50 and directed us all in “Keep The Whole World Singing.” It was good to see one of our Friends In Harmony in this role! Nice job, Ina!!
Until next time – editorjack!
(This message is prepared for your review if you were there, for your information if you had to miss, and as a historical record of the great things going on each week during the 67th year of the Alexandria Harmonizer Chapter. —YeEd.